The Second Oldest Profession

Every month I host a ‘Friday Night Supper Club’ – a roundtable of eight to ten women. We each ask a provocative question, and it can be on any topic but your work, because it is Friday night after all! Last week the first question was more challenging than usual: “Have you ever felt like a prostitute?”

There were various interpretations of the word prostitute. We decided to assume the word means doing something that you don’t like doing – and the only reason you’re doing it is for the money.

Here are some excerpts from the conversation:

A: “Well, I felt like a prostitute a couple of months ago when Mr. X asked me if I would accept $1,000 to play tennis with him … stark naked.” She declined the offer even though he was a well-connected Bay Street executive. She felt “icky” that he would even think about asking her such a thing.

B: “A few years ago when I was studying to become an actress, I was finally chosen to play the lead role. The excitement soon wore off when they insisted that I have both facial surgery and breast implants as part of the contract.” At that moment she decided to change careers. She is now a litigator.

C:  “I once had a very lucrative client that argued with me at every opportunity. He always had to be right and I began to dread every single meeting. I realized it was all a game to him but it made me feel like less of a professional.” After a particularly grueling session she finally decided it wasn’t worth it and fired him as a client.

D – “I’ve been in the wrong job for far too long. I need the money to support my family but long ago I lost interest in the work.” She is starting to question her integrity. Is it wrong to stay in a job just for the money? What is the price you pay to do so?

We moved on to the next question…but this one continues to haunt me. Do we ever feel like we are being prostitutes? Based on my friends’ answers, I do know that if you ever feel like one it may be a “learning moment” that could help you transform your life.

Or were they all just indecent proposals?